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It’s the best coat you will ever own,one!

(Reblogged from canadagooseshopsblog)

The girls and Santa

Not the most homemaker of moms!

Zwarte Piet: A Study in Sensitivity

In the midst of this international debate, as a Dutch National, I just can’t keep my opinion to myself as much as I wish I could.
I just listened to the useful conversation held on Q, the CBC Radio program in which some of the disputants of the Zwarte Piet tradition have endured death threats, so heated has the nationalistic fervor been whipped up. In this back and forth, no one likes to mention the history which is so clearly racist. (St Nikolas was a Greek living in Turkey during medieval times who was sainted and his bones brought to a part of Italy under Spanish rule. Thus the Dutch mythology is that Sinterklaas is Spanish and travels to the Netherlands from there every December. His helper is said to have been a slave who was freed by the kindly saint and was so grateful that he devoted his life to the man. Slave, or indentured servant, his subservient status can clearly be defined as a classist if not a racist continuum in the Sinterklaas story.) My question is: what do today’s black and brown-skinned citizens of the Netherlands think of the story and the tradition? If they have any qualms, their voices should be heard. They are still victims in this dichotomy. If the Sinterklaas tradition shouldn’t be done away with altogether, then it should at least evolve where immediately the face painting is abolished, and then Zwarte Piet written out of the modern pageantry. He must of course be referred to in a historical context so that children learn about his true message, which is that he was a kindly character who passed out candy to good children, but was also a victim of racism his entire life.
Every myth changes throughout history as cultural trends come and go. When I was a child, Piet beat badly behaving children with switches made up of sharp sticks. This part of the story is never mentioned today because beating children, even as a reprimand for bad behavior, is culturally frowned upon in the Western world.
I always had a queasy feeling in my belly every time I saw a painted black face. And I was raised by Dutch parents and hold Dutch nationality. Maybe it’s because I never lived in the Netherlands that I don’t truly understand the Dutch, but I believe the face painting should have ended the back when the world’s hippies convened in Amsterdam’s The Dam park and purportedly launched the Netherlands into the forward-thinking, compassionate country that it’s supposed to be.

Bea wearing her “b-cam” (film-speak for the secondary camera on set); Joe and Bea on a Connecticut beach during Thanksgiving weekend; Scout and Mijo.

Last Posts

This blog had short life. That’s ok, it just means I have to record our “New York Years” differently. Less publicly. More inward will be good. Will be more thoughtful. You just won’t be seeing as much of us (if you were following this blog at all.)
My husband suggests I quit this blog and delete it before we cross the border… You’re getting the picture…

(Reblogged from oldnewyork)

In With the New and Out With the Old?

Watching Jon Stewart crack (pun intended) pitch-perfect jokes about Toronto mayor Rob Ford, I’m stunned at how polar opposite New York’s new mayor Bill De Blasio is. With a foot in both cities I’m excited for New York as De Blasio is the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years. Equally, I’m numb with frustration that Ford continues to bully Toronto despite his belated crack smoking admissions and alllllll the other stuff.

When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor.
Lyndon B Johnson

I wish I could participate in this fest. Maybe I can see a film or two. Would be pretty cool to hear Errol Morris speak. At the very least I can drink my coffee and peruse the program and dream.